AdWords Advice: Ban Parked Domains in Search Advertising Campaigns
Where do site and category exclusions apply?After sifting through numerous AdWords accounts, I strongly advise banning parked domains from pure search advertising campaigns. Let me back up a step. First, keep search advertising completely separate from contextual advertising. The obvious next step would be to keep domain advertising separate from both search and contextual advertising. Unfortunately, that's not an option.
Most site and category exclusions apply only to the Google content network. However, if you exclude Parked domains (under the Page Types tab), you'll exclude all parked domain sites, including the ones on the search network.
Now, before I share some data explaining why I strongly advise blocking domain traffic in search campaigns, I still believe that parked domain traffic has the potential to be superior to search advertising. That potential, however, is not being realized in the AdWords system. Case in point (click on image for larger view):
Note the confusing alert from Google AdWords. Because this particular campaign is opted into the search network but NOT the content network, most features of the site exclusion tool don't apply. Note, too, the checkbox attempting to opt this campaign into the content network. NEVER check that for a pure search advertising campaign.
Now, for the important data: 916 clicks but ZERO conversions. That's astonishing for a search advertising campaign. The reason the performance is so poor is that those 916 clicks did not come from search advertising. Nobody typed keywords into a search box. Nobody even typed generic keywords as a domain name. I'll share some of those domains in a later post. From comments I've seen on domaining blogs, I anticipate that overzealous domainers will claim ineptitude on the part of the advertiser. Believe me, that's not the case. The poor quality of the domain names that drove the traffic is staggering. No wonder Google chooses opacity over transparency.
Now, since Google has deliberately failed at their mission to organize the world's information, I'm going to organize some of that information for them. Subscribe to Apogee Weblog and read my next post. You will not believe the garbage that's on the AdWords search network...
Update: I've posted details about this parked domain traffic. It's a miserable failure >>.
Apogee Tags: adwords, parked domains, search advertising, site exclusion